I have an hybrid bicycle Firefox Rapide 21S. I ride regularly around 40 KM.

In headwind I feel like I should be in aero position so sometimes I put my elbows on my handlebar and it helps to reduce the drag. But that position is not very comfortable when my elbows are resting on flat handlebar. I have flat stem and already have lowered the stem. I also have bar ends.

I'm thinking about adding clip-on tri bars for more aero position, or I can relax my hands on for long rides.

I also thought of replacing riser bar with trekking bar, for more hand position, and also I can put my elbows on trekking bar which can be more comfortable because of bar tape on handlebar.

Is tri bar on hybrid a feasible option? Or trekking bar will be good choice? I would like your thoughts which could be better option.

Or should I simply replace my handlebar with bullhorn bar which would be great. But will my existing brake/shifter will work on bullhorn bar?

  • 2
    Get a road bike ...
    – gaurwraith
    Commented Jun 4, 2018 at 21:23

4 Answers 4


Aero bars (this is the actual name of what you call "tri bar") is surely a comfortable and affordable solution. In the Netherlands you see people with aero bars on hybrid bikes quite often - it is very common way to use the bike for a long commute and ease of manoeuvrability in the city traffic.

The only disadvantage of a simple version of aero bars is that you don't have the shifters and brakes there. For the shifters it's just inconvenience, for the brake handles it is also safety issue.

Bear in mind that aero bars have some pads designed for the elbows (or actually forearms) support and nothing (even thick wrapped bar) will beat it.

Don't forget that the distance between the saddle and the bars should not be too long - when your body leans forward you shouldn't be stretching too much to reach for the handlebars. Otherwise you risk lower back pain on longer (in my experience >40km) journeys.

Concerning the bullhorn bars - in my opinion there won't be any added value for you except for the looks of the bike. And whether the brake handles and shifters are compatible depends only on the diameter of the bar you are replacing.

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    I think one can safely say that "tri bar" is an actual name for these things. Not least because tri bar gets 50% more Google hits than aero bar. Commented Jun 4, 2018 at 13:39

There are several benefits to the aero bars, or 'tri bars,' and a few drawbacks that are good to be aware of. You shouldn't have a problem finding some to fit your bars or fitting them on, and if you ever don't want to use them, they often are very easy to put on or take off. So it is definitely a valid option for a hybrid bike. The benefits of using it on a hybrid just might be slightly different than the serious triathlete or time trialer, but they are still totally valid additions that some riders will get a lot of benefit from.

  1. As the name suggests, they get you into a more aero position. This can also be more uncomfortable, and will rotate your pelvis forward so you will be sitting on your saddle differently, and probably no longer on your 'sit bones'. You may need to reposition the saddle or get a new one if it is painful, you really dont want to damage any nerves or blood vessels down there. A lot of triathletes these days use a 2-pronged saddle for this reason instead of the conventional pear-shaped saddle. Or you may just need to position the bars high/close enough that you are not over- rotating your pelvis or stretching out your back. On hybrid bike, there are a lot of improvements that could be made to make you faster or more aero short of going straight to aero bars, so this is probably not your main motivation.

  2. They take weight off your hands/wrists. This is probably the main benefit you will get out if them on a hybrid bike. On long rides it can be quite nice, and you don't necessarily need to worry about being as aero as possible. If you can make the rest of the position work, your wrists will thank you, as having something to pull a little bit feels very nice after a long ride of vibrating compression. I would recommend getting some that have a good curve to the handle, some are straight for aesthetic reasons mostly, and don't offer the same kind of wrist relief if you have to twist your wrists to hold on.

Another way to make sure your wrists are not experiencing extra stress is to line up your brake levers to that they are aligned with your arms when you sit on the bike. It is very common to have them too flat, so you have to bend your wrists to put your fingers on the brakes. Your wrist should be straight, even with your fingers on the brake levers. Also having some cushioning or an ergonomic shape to your grips will help your wrists on long rides.


You're riding on a public road with only your outer elbows in contact with the handlebars? That's reckless and you're a danger to yourself and everyone else on the road.

Instead, use your hands to grip the bars on either side of your stem. Lower your face so your torso is more level. Aim to keep your knees closer to the frame while pedalling.

Downside it still leaves you a very long way from the brake levers. So absolutely not recommended for urban riding, only for the wide-open roads where you can see upcoming dangers.

This is the no-cost way of getting more aero on a flat-bar bike. But ultimately a road bike would be better, then fitting aero bars would be additionally better. If you want to fit aerobars to your flatbar bike then get ones that can be moved without damaging the bike, ie no-drilling.

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    The asker doesn't say they're on a public road. I've ridden in that way on wide bike paths with a good surface when there was nobody else around so I wasn't being a danger to anyone other than myself. Commented Jun 5, 2018 at 16:09
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    @criggie : I most of the time ride on the road where there is very less traffic and no pedestrian. So I'm not danger to myself or any other. Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 8:59

This question is at least partially opinion based, but forging on ...

In my location and cycling community aero bars on anything except a fast road bike are considered pointless and a bit silly (yes, I admit we are a rather snobbish in this respect).

Aesthetics and snobbery aside, clip on aero bars will add weight, make the bike harder to control at low speed, and position your hands away from the brake levers. I personally would be too scared to ride on them unless I was in a area free of pedestrians or other hazards.

A trekking bar would give you lots of hand positions, and would probably be fine for resting elbows on for short stretches.

Bullhorn bars are essentially flat bars with built in bar ends, which you already have.

  • Good points - another thought is to fit bullhorns on the inside of the brake/shifter controls, closer to the stem. Essentially mini-aerobars.
    – Criggie
    Commented Jun 5, 2018 at 20:32
  • I read somewhere that trekking bar feels less responsive then flat bar? Is it true? Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 9:06
  • 1
    @SumitPMakwana The extra mass of a trekking bar would make a little bit of difference to steering, but I don't think most riders would notice. Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 11:54

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